european pears for zone 8b/9a

macmanmatty2(8b)October 14, 2013

I am looking for some suggestions on european pears for zone 8b/9a. My area is hot and humid. With NW FL beginning to get at pattern of no rain Feb-june and Lots of rain july-oct. I am looking for europeans only as those are the only ones that grow. (I have 20 asians that are getting ripped out next year because all they ever do is leaf (Do not grow just live) out and the tallest one is 4' 1" high and the one withe most branches has 4 sad just sad). The european that grows the best for me is meadows it going into its 3rd leaf and is over 9ft tall with really nice braches and lots of them. The next best two are seckel and warren both are 6 years old growing very well. (I love warrens 75-85 degree natural crotch angles). Conference is another nice pear for me and is my best tasting so far. Looking for suggestions on what you think would do well to replace those asians Would love some good euros.

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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

What root are your asians on? Some roots runt out badly in the south. I have heard of lots of successes with asians in the south, but the OHx stocks often fail. I think BET is the best one.

I don't have any great euro pear advice. I'm sure you have already checked out Just Fruits and Exotics, they have a great selection of southern pears. If you want to experiment, my favorite pear in my 7A zone is Fondante des Moulins-Lille, its bulletproof and very sweet, juicy and tasty.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 9:53PM
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Hello I graft my owns trees and sadly just fruits doesn't offer scions. The asians are on pyrus calleryana and are next to europeans on the same stock that are 3 years old and over 8ft tall with numerous braches and fruiting good. The asians are 6-7 years old 3.5 ft tall and have 0-2 branches. Most have never fruited although I did have one yakumo asian pear that was about 3' 10' tall with two branches at 5 years old and made about 100 blooms and I let set 50 that when ripe were the size of a milk dude. Although I'm using seedling stock for my pyrus calleryana and not clonal like the apple m111 I use; so each is gentically different. But I still have over 20 asians and some I have more than one of same variety. But all of them have not done anything other than leaf out for the past 3 years (other than the ones I graft which put on 7ft of growth the first year and then zip). Most are under 5 ft tall . Every one of the 30 europeans grow 100x better than the 25 or so asians I have (although some some euros my still be removed due to lack of growth, But not as the sole factor). Some asians are next to high chill apples (smokehouse, jonathon, winesap, hydeking, ashmeds kernel, newton pippin most listed needing as over 1000 hours of chill) the apples are 7-10ft tall and WELL branched and most have only been in the ground for 3 years or less. Apples grow GREAT, Most European pears grow GREAT, Plums grow good, most peaches grow good, but asian pears DO NOT grow for me.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 7:38AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Hmm, callery is usually pretty good for asians. I'd guess there is something in the combination of soil, stock, and scion. It might be worth trying some betufolia on a few asians, for me its too vigorous so it might be OK for you. Also it might be worth it to do a soil test, check pH, etc.

You might be able to get some scions out of Just Fruits, e.g. if you offer to drive there and cut 'em yourself. I have found them to be friendly and flexible.


    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 8:36AM
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alan haigh

The main difference in growth habit between Euro and Asian pears is the latter tend to spur up early in life and can runt out if this is allowed to happen. I see no other reason that Euros would fare better in your climate but I was reluctant to comment earlier because I've no experience with southeastern conditions. I'm assuming the Euros are thriving on Cally roots.

If they are spurbound they'd flower profusely even if they didn't have enough energy to hold the fruit. The condition is the result of expending too much energy on flower and fruit production at the expense of vegetative and root growth. It can sometimes be rectified by aggressively cutting out spurry growth and leaving any straight new shoots of decent vigor.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 9:37AM
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You might try Ayers, Maxine, and Pineapple. They all do very well for me and are quite delicious, and fire blight free.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 10:09AM
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A lot of my asians are not spur bound. But some are. Some are just a 4ft tall central leader with no braches at all. I have about 15 varieties of asians 20 or so of euros and over 30 apples. EVERYONE of the euros and apples is doing MUCH better than anyone of the asians. Both the euros and asians are on pyrus calleryana from the same source All euros are doing decent- to excellent. I can't understand why not one of the 15 varieties grows? Could the rootstock be taking something from the soil asians don't like? That is all I can think of other than chill or degree days but numerous trees that are rated 800-1000 hours higher are doing A LOT better. I just don't get it.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 6:16AM
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